Europe and much of the world remain gripped by the coronavirus. But even in these dark and difficult times, Eurovision continues shining its light for us. Although there will be no classic show with an official vote this year, we’ll get an official alternative in the form of Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light and several other replacement shows from the various countries — like Australia and the UK. Now Germany — the largest of all participating countries — has revealed its plans for 2020.
Call it a year of change. This year Germany’s selection show format was completely new, and now Eurovision itself will be too. After neighbours Austria held their own alternative Eurovision show with a voting element, fans are excited to hear about broadcasters NDR and ARD’s plans to give the German public their own vote, too.
Germany’s Alternative Eurovision programming
Starting on 9 May, tv channel ONE, which is part of the ARD group, will air all “World Wide Wohnzimmer”. It will broadcast all 41 music videos of the 2020 edition. This program can be seen as the official semi-final for Germany, as the public can vote for their favourites. To keep things realistic, Germans will not be allowed to vote for their own entry, “Violent Thing” by the singer Ben Dolic.
And to make things even more realistic, there will also be a jury! As you may remember, Germany has chosen its entry for the last three years through a very complex system with multiple juries voting in various rounds. So the Eurovision-Panel jury will also be present in the alternative German voting.
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Ui, wir sind stolz: Am 09. Mai dürfen wir live um 20:15 Uhr das Halbfinale der ESC-Show "Deutschlands Sieger der Herzen" präsentieren, bevor es eine Woche später ins Finale mit @barbara.schoeneberger geht! Für uns eine absolute Ehre und auf dem selben Level wie der Handschlag mit Thomas Gottschalk (??). Schaltet ein, votet mit, das wird toll! | #www #worldwidewohnzimmer #ESC #ESC2020 #openup #eurovision #eurovisionathome #germany @denniswolter @benjaminwolter @eurovision_de @funk (Foto: @goergy)
The “German Eurovision semi final” will be hosted by famous YouTubers Dennis and Benni Wolther. They are actually twin brothers and are loved by over 1.1 million subscribers on their channel “World Wide Wohnzimmer” (World Wide Living Room). The brothers will also broadcast the show on their YouTube channel and viewers can also watch the semi final-show on eurovision.de, funk.tv and through the official website of broadcaster ARD. Only 10 songs will qualify for the alternative German final one week later. The German team is keeping things exciting — even without the real competition this year!
So the main show, let‘s call it the German Eurovision final, will air on 16 May on the main channel ARD. In case you’re wondering: No, the official EBU alternative Eurovision show will not be cancelled on German TV. The show will also be broadcast on ARD. But with a little delay. “Europe Shine a Light” will start at 22:00 CEST for German viewers.
As we already know, the official Eurovision alternative program from the EBU will not include a voting segment. That won’t be the case at the “German Eurovision final”. This alternative final on 16 May will show German viewers their top 10 picks from the semi-final one week earlier. It will also include live performances from some of these 10 Eurovision finalists AND Ben Dolic.
Germany’s Eurovision 2020 act will perform his catchy song “Violent Thing” and give us a performance very close to the one he would have done in Rotterdam. It has been choreographed by Marty Kudelka, a high profile US-Czech-star choreographer.
In the end one of the 10 finalists will be crowned the “German winner of Eurovision 2020”.
The show will be hosted by Barbara Schöneberger. It will be filmed live from the Elbphilharmonie, a new and well-known tourist attraction in Hamburg, Germany. You may know the city of Hamburg from past voting segments at Eurovision. Germany‘s points mostly get announced from an open air stage in Hamburg. And yes: that’s the location where Lena messed up the point announcement in 2013. The Elbphilharmonie is a little bit more impressive than the open air stage though.
And that‘s still not everything broadcasters NDR and ARD have planned! After the official Eurovision 2020 replacement “Europe Shine a Light” has aired, German viewers will get to see the Eurovision 2010 final from Oslo. This edition will always remain a proud TV moment for Germany, as Lena managed to win the contest for Germany after a 28-year drought!
We still don’t know how the official alternative Eurovision show will work: How entries will be presented, how the whole show will feel, if the hosts will interact with the acts. But one thing we know for sure: Eurovision still lives on even though the real competition has been cancelled for the first time ever in 65 years. Thanks to these alternative shows — including Germany’s — the spirit of Eurovision is bringing us together once more. In this time of fear and anxiety, Europe will stand together on 16 May!
What do you think of the German alternative program? Which voting show from which country sounds the most promising to you? And are you excited for “Europe Shine a Light”? Let us know in the comments below.